- When I was in ninth grade, a boy grabbed me, pulled me into a dark doorway, pushed me against the wall, pushed himself against me, and made me kiss him. He shoved his tongue into my mouth and it tasted like Dr. Pepper. I didn’t drink Dr. Pepper for 20 years after that. That was my first kiss.
- This same boy came up to me during lunch one day and smashed a peeled orange in my face and then laughed.
- A Peeping Tom climbed onto the roof of my second-story home and leaned down over the side to look into my bathroom. It had a window, which I had open, while in the shower because I had no idea somebody would be able to look in on the second story. I screamed, got dressed faster than I ever had before, and left the house to hang out with my friends.
- I forgot something from my room on my way to a meeting in high school. My cousin, who was visiting, went back to get it for me. She found a man masturbating in my bed.
- The man in number 3 and 4 was my step father.
- My mother did nothing.
- At daycare in first grade, a boy peered into the armhole of my shirt and saw my nipple. He shamed me for having a nipple and for it being visible.
- At one of my first summer jobs in college, away from home and in another state, a man repeatedly asked me to date him, although I was already married and I repeatedly turned him down. He began coming up to my desk when I was not looking and surprising me by stroking my hair and putting his arms around me.
- While walking on the beach in India, Bree and I saw a man expose himself and begin masturbating while looking at us as we walked by. Something similar happened to us while we were in Austin, Texas.
- While in my first job after college, the mailroom guy would come around my desk and put his arm around me whenever he had the chance. I complained about him. Everyone already knew he was a problem. He had bothered many women. Nobody did anything.
- When teaching as a young graduate student, one of my older nontraditional male students used the last day of class as an opportunity to lean over me and touch me while I showed him something on a computer.
- In high school, three girls cornered me in the bathroom at a dance. One of them grabbed my shoulders, leaned down, and kissed me on both cheeks, smearing them with her black lipstick.
- On a senior class trip, I leaned over to grab my bag off the floor of the bus and a boy ran his fingers between my legs and said, “Credit card!”
- When an older high school boy found out that I had a crush on him, he came up to me at a rodeo and said, “Do you want to go make out until I turn hard?” No date, no getting to know me, no nothing. I said no, of course.
There’s a reason I wrote my dissertation about women in the workplace. I asked every single woman I interviewed about sexual harassment. All of them had a story.
My stories aren’t the worst stories, but they are mine. Me too. Me too.